, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 925-936
Date: 14 May 2010

In situ fuel concentration measurement near a spark plug in a spray-guided direct-injection spark-ignition engine using infrared absorption method

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Vaporized fuel concentration in a spray-guided direct-injection spark-ignition (SG-DISI) engine was measured using an optical sensor installed in a spark plug. A laser infrared absorption method was applied to quantify the instantaneous gasoline concentration near the spark plug. This paper discusses the feasibility of obtaining in situ air–fuel ratio measurements with this sensor installed inside an SG-DISI engine cylinder. First, the effects of the spray plume from a multi-hole injector on the vaporized fuel concentration measurements near the spark-plug sensor were examined using a visible laser. We determined the best position for the sensor in the engine, which was critical due to the spray and vapor plume formation. Then, a 3.392-μm He–Ne laser that coincided with the absorption line of the hydrocarbons was used as a light source to examine the stratified mixture found during ultra-lean engine operation. A combustible mixture existed around the spark plug during the injection period when a preset air–fuel ratio of 45.0 was used with different fuel injection timings and net mean effect pressure conditions. The effects of the orientation of the spark plug on the measured results and ignitability of the SG-DISI engine were examined. Orienting the spark plug vertically to one of the spray plumes provided more accurate results and better engine reliability. The study demonstrated that it was possible to qualify the air–fuel ratio near the spark plug during the injection period using the developed spark-plug sensor in an SG-DISI engine.